EPA quantifies $600B+ in clean water infrastructure needs through 2045

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff A new Environmental Protection Agency report to federal lawmakers projects future capital outlays to maintain or modernize publicly owned wastewater treatment works, stormwater infrastructure, nonpoint source control, and decentralized wastewater treatment systems like septic tanks. Such investments are deemed essential to supporting the Clean Water Act’s goal of fishable, swimmable waters from coast…

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The Other Shoe Drops

In the last half of April, there were a couple of seminal economic events that, taken together, mark an example of proverbial shoes dropping, and for the first time in years, marks a cautionary signal on the economy. The first shoe to drop was when Fed Chairman Jay Powell unexpectedly announced that firmer-than-expected inflation during the first quarter has called…

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Opponents craft compelling arguments against Project Labor Agreement rule

If major construction project permitting, workforce and procurement challenges were not enough, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council has injected additional complications by making good on a White House directive requiring Project Labor Agreements on 100-plus contracts annually where federal funds exceed $35 million. Administration officials argue that PLAs promote economy and efficiency by eliminating the risk of delay associated with…

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ABC: Davis-Bacon updates add paperwork, skew prevailing wage math

Capping a 28-month rulemaking process in August, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule, Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations, which revises prevailing wage calculations and increases paperwork for contractors on federal and federally assisted construction projects. “This is yet another handout to organized labor on the backs of taxpayers, small businesses and the free market,”…

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Build America, Buy America fine print contrasts cast-in-place, precast concrete

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has formally delineated Build America, Buy America (BABA) requirements as they relate to concrete materials for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)-funded building or nonbuilding construction projects. Final BABA sourcing requirement guidance issued last month indicates procurement interpretations relating to cast-in-place and precast concrete. It puts to rest questions surrounding IIJA…

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Teamsters state case for legacy Davis-Bacon wage standard

Sources: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington, D.C.; CP staff The International Brotherhood of Teamsters applauds the Department of Labor (DOL) for its early-August ruling on prevailing wage standards under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA). The agency returns the definition of “prevailing wage” to a standard used from 1935 to 1983, thereby requiring compensation on federally funded construction projects to…

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Startup C60 leverages technology to optimize business operations

The pressure is on for concrete producers. Demand is high, especially with the passing of the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but the market is more challenging than ever.  Construction costs rose 14.1 percent year over year by the end of 2022, according to CBRE’s Construction Cost Index. Recruiting skilled labor continues to be difficult as many industry veterans…

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Industrial Demonstrations Program: Deep pockets for decarbonization

Through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the White House is formally proceeding with a previously announced $6 billion funding program to accelerate decarbonization projects in energy-intensive industries and provide American manufacturers a competitive advantage in the emerging global clean energy economy. Funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, 2021) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA, 2022), the Industrial…

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Calming Confidence

A visit with 2022-23 National Precast Concrete Association Chairman of the Board Joel Sheets Known for his calm demeanor, Joel Sheets, senior vice president of Operations for Tindall Infrastructure, not only has the confidence to be a leader recognized and appreciated throughout the Tindall organization but also to lead the entire precast industry. Sheets has built a team and a…

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Sluggish Outlook

Economic uncertainty and inflation impact construction Sector BY CP STAFF As we begin the new year, there are concerns surrounding the health of the economy and whether a recession is in the near future. Amongst the uncertainty, industry economists have revealed that the impact of high interest rates and inflation is already being felt within the construction sector.  “The Federal…

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